Metagenomics Bioinformatician/Software Engineer
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff member
Contract Duration:Until 31.08.2021
Grading:5 (monthly salary starting at £2,552 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:23 July 2018
Reference Number:EBI_01243

Job Description

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic Bioinformatician/Software Engineer, with broad biological experience, preferably with previous knowledge of metagenomics, and a strong interest in interacting with our services’ user community. The post-holder will work in the Data Coordination and Archiving Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge (UK). The team maintains close collaborations with both data submitters and those retrieving data and offers extensive Helpdesk facilities.

The successful applicant will work in a team of developers, bioinformaticians, data curators and technical support staff upon innovative data services provided from the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) as part of the EMBL-EBI Metagenomics (EMG) resource, which provides state of the art comprehensive functional and taxonomic analysis of the world’s environmental data.

Working on the recently awarded BBSRC Metagenomics Portal III grant, you will be responsible for the community-informed design, implementation and publication of open data formats and tools to support existing and new metagenomics operations, such as around metadata standards compliance and binned and MAG assembly processes. You will also be involved in assuring smooth data flow from our data submitters and collaborators into ENA and onwards to EMG, using existing systems and the new tools that you develop. Here, delivery of routine expert support to users of our web and programmatic interfaces through our Helpdesk as well as standards development and integration work around metagenomes will be expected.

The team manages its activities through use of Git, JIRA, Confluence, RT and Read-the-docs in a collaborative programming and support environment.

You will engage in both internal and external (national and international) collaborations and will have the opportunity to gain expertise both in terms of technical software engineering and biological scientific data modelling.

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 23 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will hold a bachelors or higher degree in computer science or bioinformatics. Strong knowledge of molecular biology is required and specific experience in metagenomics is desirable. Some experience of working in a service capacity would be an advantage.

You must have experience in the following:

  • Java 8
  • REST web services and batch processing
  • Modern JavaScript frameworks, preferably Angular
  • Relational and/or NoSQL databases
  • Working with XML format and schema
  • Unix/Linux environments
  • Git
  • Requirements gathering and specification based design
  • Working in a collaborative software environment

The candidate is expected to:

  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrate being highly organised
  • Be able to demonstrate a high attention to detail
  • Work both independently and as part of a team
  • Be capable of planning and delivering projects
  • Be able to meet deadlines

And the following would be desirable:

  • Experience with analysing, resolving and responding to helpdesk queries
  • UX / UI design experience
  • Understanding of sample provenance/metadata standards


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

This position is limited to the project duration specified.

Applications will close at 23:00 BST on the date listed above.